Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Not All Like the DMV

Thursday : getting the news that we had to show up Friday.
Today we found out why over 250 potential jurors had to be interviewed. The case was a homicide with two defendants, each of whom needed to have his own jury of 12 good persons and true, plus 3 alternates. Also, the proceedings were going to last at least 30 days and would turn out to be a "hardship" for many prospective jurors.

Two months ago I had booked an upcoming vacation---the cancellation of which is a valid hardship---and I was excused tout de suite.

The judge explained the complexities reasonably, IMHO, and the calendar didn't seem to have a lot of slack. All the court officers spoke courteously and professionally. The whole experience was a reminder that many who work in government not only are competent but also maintain cheerful spirits under pressure.

Note: I ran into Helena, whom I just talked to last month volunteering for Home and Hope. That's the second time in four years that I've run into someone I knew at the jury pool. San Mateo County has about 750,000 people. When you've been around as long as I have, you may know more people than you thought you did.

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